VoodooChild
I'm really struggling here! DDay November 27th. The affair lasted 1 year, possibly 18 months, but is over at this point. It was physical and emotional, although my husband tries to blame her and make excuses as to why he said emotional things to her. Every word, every action between them, every location they met, his truck...is like a knife in my chest. Im still with my husband but can't say that I'm committed to making thingis work. I'm here because I'm hoping and looking for a reason to stay. A good one. Because it was emotional and sexual, I feel that nothing in the marriage is sacred anymore. Nothing is special to us. Despite looking, I can't find anything that was off limits to her, his body, affection, his heart. He may still be in the affair if I hadn't found out and forced him into a corner.

My question is: for those of you whose spouse had both emotional and physical affairs, why did you decide to stay? What made it worthwhile to risk the hurt of being with someone who has already proven to place such little value on their commitment to you, the spouse, and give away anything sacred between the two of u?
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Eliot
I'm struggling with the exact same thing. Husband had emotional and physical affair- only ended because I found out. I found the texts. There were 100s and they made me feel sick.

I asked him to move out that same day., thought we were over. But, Recently we had a lot of time together over Christmas, which got me thinking. We still get along very well, we have two young children- should I try and reconcile? But I don't think I can ever respect or trust him. And there can't be a happy relationship without that. If I leave now I can move on and recover much faster.

The ONLY reason I am even considering reconciliation is for my children.

Sorry I'm no help, struggling with the same question.
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Anna26
I've got the same problem, affair both emotional and physical, that I discovered well over a year ago. I suspected Sept 14, and confronted him a month or so later.  He said had been going on since about Mar 14  but who knows...I still don't really. 

As it's the second time too, I really thought that I wouuld be don this time but I surprised myself.  Maybe it's because you as a couple have too much history and too many years to throw away, maybe it's the familiarity and security that convinces you to stay or the thought of starting again on your own.  But since focusing on me more I've discovered that if I had to move on, on my own, I could do it, though financially it would be hard.  
Even though I don't know if things are maybe still going on, (hope not but can't tell as we live separately), and he is still indecisive, I'm just carrying on for now as I am. 
Sometimes I think his affair was a cry for help, sometimes I think it was an excuse to get out of a marriage he no longer wanted, but then he comes to see us and some of the things he does show that he does care.
We do get on well so I try to maintain that balance as deep down I feel that there is essentially a good man inside him but one who is so flawed because of his inability to speak out about his emotions and problems.  It just drags him down.  Would it always be this way with him?  I've no idea, I can't force him to share how he feels with me, but I think he will always struggle till he learns how to do this.  In all other respects, for almost 30 years he has been a wonderful husband and father.
Maybe, after a lengthy marriage, we are afraid that to leave could be out of the frying pan and into the fire...and that thought turns into a future trust issue doesn't it.  But for now, we are still married, just living separately, but not completely seperate lives.
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Brandi
I ask myself this daily. Or hourly! I said to my ws that we had nothing special anymore and he said 'well we werent each others firsts so its not like it was special anyway' So yes I feel your pain. I stayed initially because at that point I couldnt walk away and not wonder. I didnt want to spend my life wondering if I tried harder, loved more etc. Turns out I did all the loving and all the hurting the entire time. If my marriage is over I needed to be able to walk away and know that I was going to be okay emotionally and right after finding out about the affair-I was so far from okay. So far. (not that I'm okay now but compared to 4 months ago...) I have 3 small children (all 6 or under) so it was imperative for me to make sure that I didnt go back and forth. It was either we work on it because our kids deserve that or I shake their foundation. So I worked..so hard. He hasnt and thats one of the reasons the picture is now changing. But I know now that if i walk away I have done everything within me to say that leaving was the best thing for (not just me) but for the kids too
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TimT
Look at your marriage history. Was there an established period of good, healthy connection and trust? If so, there is a strong likelihood that you can both get there again, although it will be different this time (worse in some ways, better in others). Much depends on the unfaithful spouse's clear intent to repair the marriage and work toward that end. If there is no established history of those things, then I would not encourage much effort in trying to salvage the marriage unless the unfaithful partner has experienced a miracle (and you've taken enough time to verify that it's legit).
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VoodooChild
Tim, in what ways is it better and in what ways worse? I have trouble reconciling all of this happening in one marriage. I almost think of feel better if we divorced and started over...because, as Esther Perel said, our "first marriage is over." How do I accept knowing that I'm not the only woman that my husband has slept with in the duration of our marriage? It's not something I want to remember or accept. He met with her at one of the places that he used to meet with me for a few minutes just to see each other while he was on duty. He says he didn't remember...it didn't even matter.
He was so accustomed to living a double life. There was my husband the law enforcement officer and my husband the loving family man. When he lost his job, the anger and resentment consumed him and pushed out the loving man that I married. I'm learning now that I knew nothing about who he was when we met. He kept a large part of himself hidden. He was 70% law enforcement officer and I knew nothing of what he was there.
But we were passionately in love once. I had prayed for a man like him. I thought we were meant to be. But how can that be true if he believed, at one time, that he was meant to be with someone else, while married to me. How can any of that be real if he wanted and fell in love with someone else? Is it supposed to make a difference that he came back in the end, that he "chose" me? He chose me 5 years ago and promised to God that he would honor me 4 years ago. I'm sure I sound negative, but I get stuck on these things. He doesn't think as deeply as I do and I don't think he'll ever be able to give me a full accounting of where his head and heart were prior to, during the affair.
Some things I've read said that when their is an affair early in a marriage, which I have read is the first 5 years, it's because they married the wrong person. Do you think that's true? Have you heard or read this anywhere? Any success stories from early marriages?
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AHmember113
Tim, I'd like to know your list of ways better and especially ways worse too.
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AHmember113
Cheryl
I am 19 months post DDay and I can tell you it is a difficult road even when your husband is trying to help you heal. This path is hard and painful. Only you know your situation. I personally believe the triggers are worse when you stay, there is no escaping them because you have to face the main one every day.
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TimT
AHmember113 wrote:
Tim, I'd like to know your list of ways better and especially ways worse too.

My previous post: 
Quote:
Look at your marriage history. Was there an established period of good, healthy connection and trust? If so, there is a strong likelihood that you can both get there again, although it will be different this time (worse in some ways, better in others)... 

Esther Perel ends her talk with a declaration that, after an affair, the old marriage is dead. Do you want to experience a new one together? That "new marriage" will be different. In my experience, when both partners are willing to their part in the restoration process, they have the opportunity to experience a relationship that is deeply satisfying in regard to connection and trust because they attend to relationship patterns that were been previously neglected or ignored.

None of the clients I've worked with would tell you that the affair was a "good thing". In fact, it remains a regretful part of their experience. But (and this is the wonder of grace) they would also tell you that their recovery has led them to some amazing discoveries.

Those are the "better" things that can be experienced: the binding that comes on the other side of brokenness and forgiveness, the attention to relationship patterns that led to disappointment and disconnection in the marriage, the commitment of each partner to understand what it means to move toward the other lovingly and truthfully, the experience of deep connection that comes from a willingness to be vulnerable with each other. All these, and more, can be experienced by a couple when each is truly committed to their part in the healing (the unfaithful partner embracing honesty and taking charge of protecting the marriage and the betrayed partner moving toward forgiveness and stepping out in steps to risk trusting again).

But all this comes with a cost, too. Understanding the costs give some understanding of what will be "worse" in the marriage. They include: the loss of innocent trust, the experience of painful triggers, and the awareness that someone who loved you is capable of closing their heart.

Trust will not be built on promises of "I'll never do that again" but on the consistent investments in change that give assurance to each other that "I love you. Despite what has happened, I want to show you that I am willing to move forward in a way that brings us back to reconnection."

It's a hard road, but it takes you to a good place.
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AHmember113
I understand the response but I don't like the better state but I can't quite articulate why. The losses are so significant even after reconciliation. Perhaps the word acceptable rather than better is a more appropriate.
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TJmay112
I'm in the same situation and for me day was only days apart from yours... I stay and try because there was good times and there was love and I want that man back and because Dday was also 2 days before I gave birth to our beautiful son who we tried to concieve for 7 years. But I'm stuck on the hamster wheel... I have no family and I make okay money just enough to live in a ghetto neighborhood and get rid of my car for something cheaper. he leaves me with all the responsibility of our son, and he gets to go live the fun party life. Nice.
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